Forest land

Last changed: 02 May 2024
Forest land

Forest land is a broad land use class defined in the Swedish Forestry Act. The definition the same as the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) definition of Forest Land and is internationally accepted. Forest land is defined as land with trees hiher than 5 meter and a canopy cover of more than 10 percent, or trees able to reach these thresholds in situ.

Read more

Of the total growing stock of 3547 miljoner m³sk approximately 40% is pine and 39% spruce. Today there is ca 27.9 million hectare of Forest land.

The age distribution within Sweden's forests show that the most common age group is 41-60 years. Many species are connected to old forest and the there are circa 3.6 million hectares of forest older than 140 years which represents ca 12.9 percent of the forest land area. This type of forest is most common in Norrland where is a a significant proportion of the forest land area (ca 19% i northern Norrland and ca 15% in southern Norrland). In southern Sweden there is little forest land with an age over 140 years.

The volume of dead wood in forest land areas is an established measure of the level of biological diversity. Many species are dependant on dead wood in different stages of decay and the lack of dead wood is one of the primary threats to many endangerd species in the forest landscape. Seen for the whole country the volume of dead wood is 280 million m³ or 10 m³ per hectare. Roughly half of this dead wood is classified as hard dead wood and the rest in different stages of decomposition.

The total tree dry biomass, a key value in climate issues, is 2649 million tonnes dry weight for forest land in Sweden.


Area conditions


Vegetations- och ståndortsförhållanden


Standing volume and tree biomass
Growing stock for different tree species
Stems per hectare for trees >=45cm DBH


Forest damage




About official statistics

SLU has been appointed by the Swedish government as responsible for the official statistics about the state and change of Swedens forests. Read more about SLU's official statistics. The Swedish Forest Agency is the responsible authority for felling statistics produced by SLU. As an authority responsible for official statistics SLU must make sure that:

  • All statistics are objective
  • All statistics are well documented
  • All statistics are quaility assured

Official statistics must be made available without cost and also be accessable in electronic form.

All official statistics must be clearly marked maked with Offiicial Statistics of Sweden or bear the following logotype:


Publication plan for official statistics

JO0801 - Skogsdata - current statistics about the Swedish forests
JO0802 - Area conditions
JO0803 - Standing volume and tree biomass
JO0804 - Annual volume increment
JO0805 - Vegetation and site conditions
JO0806 - Forest damage

Current publication dates are shown in Statistics Sweden's publication calender.